Yto Barrada was born in 1971 in Paris, and currently lives in New York and Tangier. Engaging with the performativity of archival practices and public interventions, Barrada’s installations reinterpret social relationships, uncover subaltern histories, and reveal the prevalence of fiction in institutionalized narratives.
Barrada arrived at her artist practice through studies of history and political science, particularly in the negotiation of political and personal experiences. Her work was introduced for the first time in the group exhibition Impressions d’Afrique du Nord at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (1998), in which she presented photographs of subjects taken in Israel and Morocco. Barrada’s first series of photographs, A Life Full of Holes, (1998–2004), used the Strait of Gibraltar as a site of inquiry, examining its status as a border between North Africa and Europe and its impact on the residents of Tangier.
Her solo exhibitions have been held at venues including Serralves Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto (2015); Carré d'art – Musée d'art Contemporain. Nîmes (2015); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2011); WIELS, Brussels (2011); Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg (2009); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); and Witte de With Contemporary Art Centre, Rotterdam (2004). Barrada is the founding director of Cinémathèque de Tangier. She was a recipient of the 2013-2014 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, the 2015 Abraaj Group Art Prize and a 2016 Canon Tiger Award for Short Film. She has also been nominated for the 2016 Marcel Duchamp Prize. The film Faux départ was recently shown at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.